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Wed May 21

I was supposed to fly this afternoon, but, as you guessed...we had crazy winds! (This seems to be a trend!) I get to switch IPs now also, which is cool because I get a different perspective on what I'm doing right and wrong. I'm on the schedule for tomorrow morning, but winds aren't looking promising, again, so we'll see. If this weather keeps up through friday, I won't fly until tuesday (monday is Memorial Day!). This just means we'll be here that much longer than scheduled. Oh, and we had one guy check yesterday and do his solo today. He has gotten proficiency advanced (PA) through alot of the 300 block because he is a CFI and has 1200 hours or something crazy.

spectre56

spectre56

 

Tues May 20

So, I didn't end up flying on Friday, which just makes it that much more hectic for me this week. Yesterday, I flew in the morning; today I flew twice in the morning (double turning). The first flight was decent, but the second flight sucked. The winds had picked up and I was all over the place. Not to mention I got a headache as we were stepping...I fought through it, but I was beat from the first flight so that wasn't helping any. I ended up getting a good overall and for the most part, my IP was lenient (I think). I'm flying tomorrow...once as of now. Halfway done with the 300 block and only 3 or 4 more flights till the checkride. I don't think I'm ready for it just yet, but i'm hoping i'll get it down in the next few days.

spectre56

spectre56

 

Fast and furious!

Was supposed to do an out and back last Thursday and broke in Arkansas! My IP and I had to drive back to Vance... 4 hours!! That sucked. My cross country started on Friday. We were supposed to go to Amarillo to get gas, then on to Albuquerque for the night. On to Denver on Saturday, then back to Vance on Sunday. Turns out that my plane had an inspection due so we had to come back to Vance on Friday. They had a plane for us on Saturday, so I made it out to Denver on Saturday night. 2 flights a day for 4 days including over a weekend, another flight today, two more tomorrow... I'm beat!!!

Riddller

Riddller

 

UPT Blogs Banned by AETC Leadership

I have seen a disturbing trend recently. Less and less UPT Journals (a.k.a. blogs) are making it to the "blogosphere" - and the few that are out there are being rapidly purged from the internet. Kind of smells like Mao's Cultural Revolution... Then the www.baseops.net site started receiving emails asking for links to certain UPT blogs be removed. The requests were coming from the authors of those blogs and they were citing negative feedback (and even strong intimidation) from their UPT Squadron leadership as the main reason for removal. I just received another request to de-link a UPT blog tonight - that individual stated that during a UPT "INFOCON" briefing, the topic of their blog came up and that person faced intense scrutiny and negative feedback. Additionally, that individual's Commander threatened him/her with counseling and remedial punishment unless the blog was not publicly published. I guess a Skipper can order you to do just about anything - but I am curious as to what damage a kid can do by publishing a blog about what he did during UPT. What laws/regulations/AFI/OI/ is n violation here? Clearly there will be no classified (or sensitive) data being transmitted. Sounds like a control issue with the AF and somehow AETC would like to own every aspect of its students lives... By the way (for you naysayers out there), it is the US State Department, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls that controls the issue of exporting technical data (not the USAF). These blogs are in compliance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) and Export Arms Regulations (EAR) in accordance with "public domain" definitions in 22 CFR 120.11. Bottom Line: this is censorship at its best. Anyone have thoughts on this issue?

Baseops.Net

Baseops.Net

 

Thur May 15

So, as of last night, wasn't scheduled to fly...but I get back from breakfast this morning and, voila! I'm on the schedule! I'm getting ready and planning, etc, and there's a stop launch because of winds....again. There were a few people that flew today, but not too many. Chalk another day up to weather. I'm thinking that i'll probably fly tomorrow since the senior class' IPs are getting freed up. Also, the new class got here today, so the place is getting crowded!

spectre56

spectre56

 

Wed May 14

Flew again today. I've been flying about every other day to start out with; but as the senior class finishes up this week, we will start getting their IPs so our class will be flying much more. I'm looking forward to flying, but not to double turning, oh well...gotta do what you gotta do. The flight went well today; had smooth air and I thought I did fairly well for the point I'm at in the program. Basically just did some steep turns, stalls, slow flight, and my IP demonstrated an area SFL (simulated forced landing). That looks fairly straightforward, but that apparently gets a lot of people here, so I guess it's not as easy as it looks.

spectre56

spectre56

 

Sim on brother!

Sorry no post for a week, but I've only had one flight since my check ride, and that was last Monday. The weather was crappy after my check ride, so that's why no flights last week. This week its 'cuz I've been double-turning in the simulator every day. My 88 ride went good, I just had to fill out a boldface sheet and tell the IP how the engine worked. He was very happy. I'm supposed to go cross-country this weekend, but I needed to have all my navigation simulator rides done, which is why I've been doing so many sims. My instrument and navigation flight/sims have been going REALLY good. I'm way better at those compared to my contact rides, and I'm enjoying them more too. I'm doing my first "out and back" tomorrow too. We're probably going to Amarillo, shoot a bunch of approaches, stop and get a big steak for lunch, then come back via a bunch more approaches. Should be fun! Still no place I'd rather be right now...

Riddller

Riddller

 

Mon May 12

Had my second flight today...ugh, not so good. The wind wasn't that bad when we started and taxied, but as we were finishing the runup, the SOF called stop launch for high winds. He cleared us all to go about 5 minutes later (there was about 6 of us waiting to go). My IP said I improved from my first flight, but the winds were kicking us around pretty bad, so the whole flight I was trying to keep altitude and airspeed. Just when I thought I had good airspeed and altitude, a downdraft or updraft would hit us and there goes the altitude! There's a reason why there is a 25 knot limit on this plane! I got an overall good on the flight, but i'm still improving. I don't fly again until wednesday, so I can sorta take it easy tonight.

spectre56

spectre56

 

Fri May 9

Another benign day of just studying. The guy that was doing our formal brief didn't know what some of the stuff was that he was briefing about (I think it was the NOTAMS: Notice To Airmen). Well, our flight commander didn't like that so much so he got a little upset and told us that he was thinking about putting us on formal release, but didn't since we had worked so hard this past week. Just means we need to keep it together and help each other out that much more. We all got out at a decent time, so it's a nice start to the weekend.

spectre56

spectre56

 

Thur May 8

Woohoo!! Dollar ride, baby!! It finally happened and I think I did well overall. Even though I got all U's: that means I attempted the different maneuvers but wasn't that great at them, I did get the plane back in one piece! There wasn't too many maneuvers on this ride; just slow flight, steep turns, and your takeoff, landing, radios, approach and departure. Sounds fairly straightforward, but it's a lot of work to do in not much time. It's pretty exciting, and I finally know what I need to work on and study for. I think I will take it easy tonight since I don't have to fly tomorrow. I'm scheduled for monday so i'll be studying for that flight this weekend.

spectre56

spectre56

 

Wed May 7

Well, didn't fly again today. I think a few flights got out this morning, but the weather came in late morning and all flights were cancelled for the rest of the day. Good news was that our flight commander bumped another guy off the flight schedule who was supposed to do his 2nd or 3rd ride to put me on there. I was going to be one of the last flights of the day, but, as I mentioned before, the weather rolled in and it started raining. I just studied all day, went out to one of the planes and practiced a preflight and chairflew what my mission would have been. Not a bad day overall. We got let out early and we have a Emergency Procedures Quiz (EPQ) tomorrow so I will be studying for that tonight. It's basically an online test that tests your knowledge of different systems and flight concepts, etc. Shouldn't be extremely difficult and you only need an 85% to pass, but i'm still going to study my butt off!

spectre56

spectre56

 

Final Contact... here's your taco!

Yup, first flight I hook, and it's a check ride! I did fine in the air, screwed up some aerobatics, but no big deal. Had some crazy dealings with ATC, but handled them very well and my IP said he was very impressed. The problem came after the flight during the table-top Emergency Procedure. They give you a situation after every flight you do, and you have to talk through how you would get through it. It's the same with check rides. Anyway, if there's a boldface involved, you have to say it verbatim. One of the boldface I had to state was "ZOOM/GLIDE - 125 KNOTS (MINIMUM)" and I said "ZOOM/CLIMB - 125 KNOTS (MINIMUM)". I didn't even know I said it until he told me 15 minutes later! Anyway, mis-stating a boldface is an automatic hook. I have to do another table-top EP tomorrow on a "Ground 88 ride" and I'll be good.

Riddller

Riddller

 

Tues May 6

Alright, I didn't fly today...don't know if i'll fly tomorrow, either. There's 2 of us that I know of that haven't flown at all. Our IP said that he would bump some folks tomorrow to get us up in the air, so we'll see how that goes. So, i'm stuck studying the same stuff: radio calls, checklists, etc. I feel like I can't get any more productive studying done until I fly and figure out what I need to work on. Maybe tomorrow!!

spectre56

spectre56

 

Mon May 5

Today I got to sit in on several briefings to see how those go and to get a better feel for what I need to do to prepare for my dollar ride. That and studying is about all I did today. I wasn't flying today, so I got to absorb all the info I could from those who were flying. I was supposed to fly tomorrow, but me and several others got bumped for guys that are doing their checkrides. I'm not complaining, though. Hopefully I'll get thrown in the mix tomorrow or Wednesday.

spectre56

spectre56

 

Final Contact on Tuesday now...

This sucks. When they first told me I was doing my Final Contact checkride I was like, "Crap! That's too soon! I need more time!!". However, the winds were way out of limits all day on Friday, so nobody flew. AND we are having a "safety day" on Monday because of all those crashing T-38's, so now I'm not checking until Tuesday. I just want to hurry up and get it over with now! Oh well. Navigation test at 0650 tomorrow, guess I'll go study...

Riddller

Riddller

 

Fri May 2

Today was the first day of flying for our class. I'm not sure about the other flight, but I don't think any of the 3 or 4 folks in our flight who were scheduled to fly did so. Winds were way too high all day. We got let go at about 1530 which was sweet. My first flight is on Tuesday so I'll be studying tomorrow and monday for that...should be fun! Oh, went and saw Iron Man last night. Pretty sweet movie! I definitely recommend it if you haven't seen it yet.

spectre56

spectre56

 

Thur May 1

Today we had our first real formal briefing and standup EP. I think they went well overall, but I don't know how much the flight commander liked it. We'll do it again tomorrow and every day until we graduate, so I we're going to do our best. We had some classes and then our academics test, and I made 100%! I'm pretty happy about that. After that and lunch, we spent a few hours in our flight room; just studying, nothing too daunting. Some folks are getting their dollar rides tomorrow (first flight where you decorate and give a dollar to your IP). I probably won't fly until next week monday or tuesday. I'm pretty excited! Oh, and we played dodgeball...good times today!

spectre56

spectre56

 

Wed April 30

Well, today we learned a bit about patterns, departures, and arrivals into the 3 airports we use up here. Some of it is fairly straight forward, but a good bit of it is sort of confusing. I'm sure it will become much more clear as we start flying. My suggestion would be to get with a buddy or your class and set up a runway on the floor with tape and simply go through taxi, takeoff, patterns, landings, etc. so at least you know the procedures. That way, it should be a little bit smoother when you're actually flying them. After PT, we had the review for the one and only academic test tomorrow. 85% is passing so we are all studying our butts off. Tomorrow, we also get to do our first real formal briefing and standup EP. I know how it's supposed to go, but I'm just so nervous because I don't know what to expect from the IPs. Guess we'll find out tomorrow!

spectre56

spectre56

 

More flights...

Busy busy... I've been flying and simming along with more classes pretty much non-stop since my mid-phase. We started doing our navigation classes which are fairly long. I actually did my 3rd area solo today too, which is unusual because we're only supposed to have two. They ran out of instructors this afternoon though, so it was either give me the flight or lose it. I'm now technically only two flights away from my Final Contact checkride, but I'm doing a night flight tomorrow which doesn't count. We're also doing night flying this week, which is nice because we don't have to go in until 1100, but sucks because we don't leave until 2200 or 2300. Oh well. Back to crew rest!

Riddller

Riddller

 

Tuesday 29 Apr

Today was a good break from the normal classroom briefings. We still had some classroom instruction, but we got to go out to the aircraft where some of the senior class folks showed us what a preflight is for this plane. That was a great distraction from the tediousness of the classroom stuff. I have to be honest, the academics (aircraft systems, etc) are coming fairly quick to me because of my Marine maintenance background. Don't get me wrong, though, it's definately NOT easy by any stretch of the word. It's nice to get outside to the flightline; especially since we have no windows in our room (as mentioned by Sentry333). It also gives us a feeling of making at least a little bit of progress in this program. Also, myself and Sentry333 are in the same flight, so if some of this is redundant, oh well. Just trying to provide a different perspective. Oh, and after I'm done with PT and dinner, studying is pretty much the norm. Me and my buddy from the other flight were going over takeoffs, landings, and aircraft systems for a few hours. Now, it's time for bed. Early day starting at 0600 tomorrow!

spectre56

spectre56

 

First Monday

Well, I had a great weekend...didn't really do anything! Went up to Colorado Springs and visited the Academy and Peterson AFB. I'm sure our free weekends are numbered since all the classes are a little behind schedule, though. This morning we had a boldface/ops limits test and only 3 of us messed it up...yep, I was one of em. I simply skipped over one of the blanks on the ops limits. We then went over the aircraft systems, aerodynamics, performance, airspace and radio communication. Oh, and we had lunch sometime in there also. Our flights then split up and we went to PT while the other flight had another class. We switched it up after that: the other flight PTd and we had that class. Before we started the lesson, we had another boldface/ops limits test. Our flight got them all right, but the other flight had one mess it up. They paid for it at PT and now we are good to wear flight suits! Good day overall and more classes tomorrow and we get to find out what the formal briefing is all about!

spectre56

spectre56

 

Day One

Today was an ok day. Death by powerpoint describes it well. We had our first boldface/ops limits test today, overall, not too bad. The PFT is another beast all on it's own. If you aren't running, start running well before you get here. You lose about a minute or two on your run time because of the altitude, and there is no waiver for altitude...we missed it by about 400 feet. This weekend is free for us, but it will most likely be the last one as all the classes are backed up and we'll probably be flying most saturdays. Oh well, you gotta do what you gotta do.

spectre56

spectre56

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